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FIGURE 2.1 The three important links from human actions to human well-being: environmental impacts, ecological production functions and valuation.
Adapted from NRC, 2005a.


changes in ecosystem structure and function. But, ecosystem function and structure and ecosystem services are not synonymous. Granek et al. (2009) give the following example to illustrate the difference between ecosystem structure and function and ecosystem service. “Mangroves, seagrass beds, and coastal marshes provide habitat for juvenile fishes (ecosystem function), which ultimately may contribute to commercial and recreational fish landings (ecosystem service), and wave attenuation (ecosystem function), which may provide protection (ecosystem service) for coastal property from storm surge. Alerting decision makers that habitat has been lost without connecting that loss to the decline of valuable fish harvests or coastal protection does not effectively communicate the importance or severity of that loss relative to the suite of issues managers are asked to address.” In the Granek et al. (2009) example, an ecological production function can be used to relate nursery habitat (structure/function) to a change in fishery productivity (service) or change in vegetation with wave attenuation (structure/function) to a change in coastal protection (service).

Third, how do changes in the provision of ecosystem services affect hu-



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